Aeroperu to fly once more

Published on .

LIMA--AeroPeru, Peru's one-time national airline, bucked rumors of its imminent death, announcing that it would take to the skies again on June 22.

Company executives have announced that AeroPeru's creditors have agreed to a restructuring plan, which will most likely include the participation of Houston-based Continental Airlines.

AeroPeru announced in March that it was closing down for 60 days to reorganize and restructure its debt, which was $174 million at the time.

The collapse came after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it was no longer willing to pump money into AeroPeru.

AeroPeru's President Roberto Abusada said Continental Airlines is expected to control 49% of the company, which would imply a $30 million investment. The remaining 51% will be held locally.

Mr. Abusada said the carrier will be up and running in time for the height of the tourist season in Peru, which runs from June through August. The decision to refloat AeroPeru is good news for Peru's $1 billion tourism sector, which was hurt by its collapse. Without AeroPeru, Peru was left with only one national airline, Aero Continente, and upstart TANS, which is run by the Peruvian Air Force. A new airline, LanPeru, which belongs to the LanChile (Chilean) family, is scheduled to start flying in mid-June.

The country's tourism bureau claimed that at least 8% of bookings were canceled because of AeroPeru's problems. While Aero Continente has tried to cover most of the country's routes, it does not have international partnerships, and reservations on its planes cannot be made outside of Peru, which complicates international bookings.

While AeroPeru will being flying locally in mid-June , Aero-Peru General Manager Jaan Albrecht Albrecht said it will be a few months before the company restarts its international flights.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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